Israel will be the most important ally of the United States in the 21st century, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer said at an event in Miami Tuesday night, where he discussed his new role and ministry.
Dermer spoke of three priorities he has set for his ministry – aligning with an earlier report in The Jerusalem Post – the Abraham Accords, Iran and relations with the US. Dermer’s ministry will not deal with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The International March of the Living (MOTL) honored Dermer and his wife Rhoda at the event on Tuesday night. Dermer, who served as Israel's ambassador to the US from 2013 to 2021, was a previous participant and speaker on the March of the Living “and has always been a staunch supporter of the program and its educational goals,” MOTL said.
The couple was “recognized for their outstanding service to Israel and the Jewish people,” according to the official website promoting the event. The event was planned months ago, before Dermer knew he would become a Minister. Since he was already flying to the US, he met with White House officials at the beginning of the week.
In a recording from the event, obtained exclusively by the Post, Dermer said that his ministry's first priority will be “that [the] evil regime in Tehran, which openly calls and actively works to destroy the one and only Jewish state, [does] not achieve that goal,” he said and added that “that is the number one priority.”
“The second priority is to see if we can expand the circle of peace,” he said. “We were able [to achieve peace] in 2020, thanks to the partnership we had with the previous administration and the great ambassador, David Friedman, who really deserves a great round of applause,” Dermer said. “In 2020, after only having two peace agreements in 72 years, we were able to achieve this in the span of four or five months,” Dermer said of the peace agreements that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led with former US President Donald Trump.
The new minister shared that “unfortunately, for the last two years, that circle of peace has not expanded,” and added that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to expand it.”
He shared that he hopes “to work very closely with the Biden administration,” and that he thinks “the policy towards Iran is a critical part of expanding [the peace agreements] because I think it opens the space for Arab leaders to move into a public alliance with Israel when we face this common enemy together.”
As mentioned, Dermer’s third goal is to be Netanyahu’s right hand regarding the US. He shared with the audience that “the third [priority] is to significantly upgrade the bilateral ties that we have with the United States of America. Some of you have heard me say this before, over many years, I believe Israel will be the most important ally of the United States in the 21st century. And what I'm tasked to do is to see how we can accelerate this process.”
Dermer explained that “just as Britain was the most important ally [of the US] in the 20th century, Israel [will become] the most important ally in the 21st century.”
Dermer revealed that the Strategic Affairs Ministry does not yet have employees, all of whom were moved to the Foreign Ministry after the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid government decided to dismantle the ministry in 2021. These employees are expected to move to the Diaspora Affairs Ministry under Minister Amichai Chikli and deal with combating the BDS movement and antisemitism.
“I'm hoping to hire my first employee soon, in a ministry that doesn't currently exist, and will have to be put together again,” Dermer said. “It's a lot on the plate, but I've been privileged to work with the Prime Minister for 22 years. I'm confident that under his leadership Israel will be able to achieve these goals.”